Remakes of classics are nothing new under the sun. Disney loved their remakes even in the nineties. In 1996, they released the live-action remake of 101 Dalmatians starring Glenn Close as one of Disney’s classic villains, Cruella De vil. This is listed on WomansDay.com as 1 of 35 top Halloween movies for kids. And if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me!
Just like in the original animated movie, After an extremely brief romance (less than 24 hours), Roger (Jeff Daniels) and Anita (Joely Richardson) along with their Dalmatians, Pongo and Perdita, get married and start their lives together. It isn’t long before before puppies enter the picture and evil fashion designer Cruella comes knocking. And just like in the animated original, she has her idiot henchmen Jasper (Hugh Laurie) and Horace (Mark Williams) do her dirty work for her. Her goal: A new Dalmatian fur coat. Everyone else’s goal: To keep mass puppy murder from happening. In the end, the original 15 puppies are rescued along with 86 others bringing the grand total 101.
Glenn Close is perfect as Cruella. She performed both Cruella’s voice and mannerisms perfectly. Her portrayal was amazing! Horace and Jasper are reminiscent of the bandits from Home Alone. It feels like Home Alone was blueprint for bumbling, idiotic henchmen moving forward.
A couple changes are made from the the animated movie. Instead of a composer, Roger is a video game designer, and Anita is a fashion designer who works for Cruella. In the animated version, Cruella is an old friend of Anita’s from college. Nothing major or distracting from the original story we all know and love. Dear Disney, if you insist on continuing to remake everything animated into live-action, this is how you do it. No major alterations from the original source material while improving upon the original. In the case of Cruella, through the use of comedy both physical and verbal.
Another thing 101 Dalmatians has going for it is no language. It’s completely free of American curse words. The term bloody is considered a swear in the Uk and is used a couple of times, but that’s it! Which is way more than what can be said about Shrek. It was refreshing. A couple scenes might be dark for young children, but 101 Dalmatians is a great family movie! You can stream it on Disney Plus.